ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – A Steuben County man, Patrick W. Carlineo, Jr., has pleaded guilty in federal court in Rochester to charges of threatening to assault and murder Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). He also pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms. The charges carry a maximum penalty of ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.
Carlineo identified himself during March calls to Omar’s Washington, D.C. office in which he expressed hatred of people he considered radical Muslims and threatened to kill the Congresswoman. Omar is one of the first Muslim women to be elected to Congress.
He was previously convicted of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree in Steuben County Court and was legally prohibited from possessing a firearm. Several firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were found in his home during the investigation into the calls.
Omar has written to the sentencing judge asking for leniency for the Carlineo.
“This prosecution highlights the fact that the rights secured in our Constitution carry with them certain responsibilities,” U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. said.
“The First Amendment right to freedom of speech carries with it the responsibility that individuals not make threats to harm lawmakers simply because they may disagree with them,” he said. “The Second Amendment right to bear arms carries with it the responsibility that individuals who desire to possess firearms not commit felony crimes.”
Sentencing is scheduled for February 14, 2020.